Set Things Up on Nearmap on OpenSolar
This module is ideal for:
Nearmap on OpenSolar Admins
At the end of this module you will:
While it might be tempting to dive right in and start designing your solar projects, as the administrator it’s worth taking the time to set some things up, so your business can tick over and your brand can shine.
In this module we’re going to look at OpenSolar’s Control Zone - where, as an OpenSolar administrator, you can set up all your operational details like company information, pricing, payment, hardware and design settings.
Make sure you’re logged in. If you haven’t logged in yet, we recommend you have a look at the first in this series : Introducing Nearmap on OpenSolar.
Now click on Control at the bottom of the OpenSolar window.
First things first - set up your company’s basics.
- Establish your brand by clicking Company > Business info. Set up your company details, enter your About Us info and upload your logo.
- Add your team members and set one other as an admin. It’s worth knowing that all your team members need to be on the same Nearmap account (although they could be on different Nearmap subscriptions). Admins can change pricing and access payments, among other things, so we recommend limiting the number of team members you make an admin.
- Set up your OpenSolar CRM to work for you by establishing action items (for project stages) and project tags (to categorize). You can find this under Business Processes.
- Personalize your customer email subject line and message under Settings. And set up your SMTP details if you want emails to come from your business email address rather than from OpenSolar.
- By default, project team members can only see projects that are assigned to them. If you want team members to see each other’s projects, no problem, just ensure project access is set to unrestricted. Bear in mind that admins will always be able to oversee all of the projects.
Pricing and Payment options
Complex or varied pricing is not an issue with OpenSolar. You can set up any of 4 different pricing schemes, with any combination of settings – and you can opt to automatically apply a scheme based on a location. Let’s take a closer look:
Select System Pricing under Pricing and Payment. A couple of basic pricing schemes are already set up. The one with the Tick is your default. When you create your design, this pricing scheme will be applied to your design, unless you select a different one. You can have multiple designs for your proposal, each with a different pricing scheme, if you want.
OpenSolar offers four different ways pricing can be applied in any scheme.
- If you set up your cost of goods and you opt for a Markup Percentage of say 20%, OpenSolar will just apply a 20% markup percentage on your cost of goods.
- Fixed price - is a simple overall cost applied to the system, regardless of the system size.
- Price per Watt - This type of pricing allows you to set a price based on the system capacity. If say every Watt is $3, add the battery at $400 per kilowatt, then OpenSolar will calculate the price for you based on your design.
- A variation on this with more granularity is the Price per Watt by size which lets you specify the price per watt for system sizes within a certain KWatt range.
How about we create our own pricing scheme?
- Press CREATE NEW PRICING SCHEME. Name it Markup Percentage 20%.
- Select the pricing formula as markup %, enter 20 as percentage and 10 as tax.
- Select Auto-apply to set it as the default. Press SAVE.
Click on Payment Options and you can see that cash is the default option for the customer. You can edit this and add your own payment options.
- Click EDIT.
- You can add to this that you require a 30% deposit when the customer accepts the proposal, and set that deposit as a minimum of $2000 and maximum of $5000. And you can add any supplementary terms and conditions as well, such as a 30% deposit is non refundable after 30 day cooling off period.
- Press SAVE.
If cash won’t always work for your customers, no problem, OpenSolar has a variety of payment options you can set up, including regular payments, loan and lease. Just press CREATE PAYMENT OPTION to set a new one up.
Costing - automate and fine-tune project costs
Three storey house, steep roof, delicate slate tiles… all those little challenges that add time and cost to your project… you can cost them here, so that they are automatically applied to your project.
You can capture a lot of variance in a cost list, so you may only need to create one at first. For example, your list can contain a cost to be applied for two and three story buildings, a metal tin roof, a shingle roof, extra slope, etc. You only need to create another cost list if you want to apply a different set of costs to some projects. For example, you might be running a deal where shipping is free, so you’d set up a cost list without a shipping charge. Or you might want to apply cost only per Watt for some customers, and per Panel and per Watt for others.
Later, when you’re designing a project for your customer, you can apply the appropriate cost list and these costs will be calculated automatically (this will make more sense when we look at designing in the next module).
- To set up a cost list head to Cost Information and click CREATE A NEW COST LIST.
- Give your cost list a name – we’ll call it “Standard with shipping”.
- Let’s set it as the default, so it will automatically apply to each project you set up.
- Press SAVE.
- Click the COGS (cost of goods) drop down and you’ll see here the things you can put Cost of Goods against. OpenSolar gives you the flexibility to set up cost of goods per system, per panel and per Watt.
There are different buildup, acquisition and fulfillment costs. You could enter, say, $100 for shipping. If you scroll down a bit further you can see extra costs. These allow you to charge for job difficulty. So if you're working on a two story house you can charge $450 per system. And it it’s a three story house, an extra $650. For a steep pitch slope you could charge, say, $350. And for a very steep pitch slope, $650. You can set your steep pitch range to be between 25 and 40 (very steep pitch in this case will be anything over 40). When you're measuring the roof pitch, OpenSolar will apply that cost automatically. And you could say that metal tin roof jobs are tricky, so factor in a cost of $200 per system.
- Now save this Cost list.
You can always select a different cost list to apply to a project (and you can learn more about that in Module 3 - Design with Nearmap on OpenSolar).
Design and Hardware
OpenSolar has an extensive database of solar components including panels “modules”, inverters, batteries and other components such as power optimizers. If you can’t find the component you’re after, you can easily add it here.
OpenSolar’s component database does not include pricing, so it’s up to you to you to set pricing here against any component you use.
You set up modules, inverters, batteries and other components the same way. So if you click into Modules, (under Design & Hardware) you can see the most frequently used module is set as default. And when you open up a project, this will be the module you place on the roof, unless you physically select a different one.
Let’s have a look at a module. Click EDIT against a module and you can see the specs of the module. You can set up your product warranty information here and your cost of goods per unit ex tax. Please note that this applies only to the warranty of your components, not any additional warranty information as part of your contract. Toggle to make it your default module and know that you can easily select a different module when you’re designing your system.
Setback and design settings
OpenSolar gives you total control and flexibility over your solar panel placement, tilt rack positioning and even automatic stringing.
- Hop to Setback and Design Settings.
- Click on CREATE SETBACK & DESIGN SETTINGS. Give your setback a name and save.
- Drop down Setbacks & Studio Settings and choose your inverter modelling. Set to automatic if you want OpenSolar to model the stringing for you.
- You can see here that the setbacks are all set to 0.3 and tilt racks are in a landscape orientation. You could set them to portrait. Check that this is the default and this will automatically be applied when you create your design.
Be assured that, when you’re designing, you have complete flexibility to select another one of your saved setback configurations or you can individually adjust the stringing, setbacks and tilt racks directly on your design.
- Press SAVE.
Tailor the information you present to your customers in the energy and financial simulation graphs. Under simulation settings, you can adjust the number of years of simulate on the graphs that are included on the proposal, add feed-in tariffs, discount rates and more. You can see how these graphs look in Module 4 - "Create a Stunning Proposal."
You are now set up to start designing with OpenSolar.
All you need to do now is create your proposal template and then you’re in business. Find out how in the next module in this series “Create a stunning proposal”. You’ll find it in the Help Centre right below this video. While you’re there, you’ll find links to OpenSolar articles and ways to sign up to OpenSolar’s regular newsletter and deep dive webinars.